I am getting on a plane today for a job interview. Over the past several months I have been preparing for an emergency of sorts (manmade, natural disaster, or personal emergency) I have done little plane travel. Prior to this, I used to do a lot of traveling all over the country. Most of my business trips are/have been on a plane vs car. Today for the first time in about two/three months I am getting on a plane, and it feels weird I cannot bring my typical everyday carry (EDC) with me. i.e. My Gerber folding knife, an Altoids can EDC kit (mini multi-tool, matches, needle, thread, etc.), Zippo lighter, and the like (UPDATE: The TSA have since allowed lighters back in carry-ons). In fact, I feel sort of naked without my EDC kit.
So, to improvise in the pinch, I brought along the following: Two Balance nutrition bars, an LED flashlight with 2 new AA batteries, an emergency space blanket, an emergency rain poncho, mini first aid kit with the following additions:
- One square foot of aluminum foil
- Pack of matches (got through security this time with no issue)
- One yard of duct tape
- Two Zyrtec allergy pills
- Travel pack of kleenex tissue
- Two small Purell waterless hand sanitizers. With 60% isopropyl alcohol and 40% aloe, this makes a great fuel gel in a pinch as well.
- One gallon plastic bag that can be used for wet clothes or as a water bladder. I should have added a couple Iodine tablets to the first aid kit for water purification. When I get home from this trip I’ll do that.
- A 200-yard roll of dental floss. Stuff is strong as hell and can be used for multiple utilities.
I am thinking of adding a couple of staple foods that I have in my cache at home and in my car’s EDC kit. Oatmeal packets, instant coffee/tea, and a packet or two of the tuna in the aluminum bags. Maybe a bag of my own trail mix that I make (raisins, M&Ms, Cashews, and Almonds) in a bag that I seal with my food saver. That should give me 24 — 48 hours of food in an emergency. Maybe also add a button compass, pair of surgical rubber gloves, a solar mobile phone charger, and a map of the area I am going to be traveling in.
I bought a $4.00 32oz bottle of water after I got through security. I’ll drink that while at the hotel I am sure.
All of this is in my backpack with my notebook, three pens, and my laptop. I feel a little better with some gear, but I am not 100%. I would like a multi-tool or my Gerber folding pocket knife. It is an invaluable utility.
I am also now looking at my laptop carry pack, and thinking about replacing it with something that has a little more utility for me and leaving some travel gear in it permanently for business travel. And while I travel mostly to major metro areas, maybe add a bottle of potassium iodide tablets for that just in case scenario.
Things I need to rethink for future business travel:
- Emergency change in travel plans where I get stuck in a destination for an extra night
- Lost reservations. When I got to the airport, I went to the wrong airline and almost got irate because they did not have my reservation… In the event of a real lost reservation, I should have a contingency plan in place.
- Weather delays, rental car disasters, etc…
I would consider the above bullet points, average to low-risk issues, and are items that are semi-frequently dealt with by many travellers. Below is a list of higher risk issues that may occur, and can be considered disastrous in nature.
- Major automobile accident
- Terrorist threat/attack where all flights get grounded
- Crashlanding of any kind to me would be major
I am also considering adding a large piece of sheet plastic that can be used as a very light shelter, and 10 — 20 feet of paracord, for obvious reasons I hope…
Further research has also shown me that there are some improvisations that can make it through security, and are allowed on a plane… Take a look: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm
2021 Update: My EDC has gone through numerous iterations since this blog post in 2009. Knives, multi-tools, kits, etc. Luckily, I think the only time I really needed to use any gear out of it may have been from the ouch & boo-boo first aid kit supply I usually have with me when I travel. I’ll try to write a post on today’s EDC, sans Firearm (as I live in a low-liberty state at the moment).